Do you feel like your allergies are constantly “acting up?” Do you have a cold that you just can’t seem to shake? If you’ve exhausted over-the-counter cold and allergy medications and remedies and still can’t find relief from your sinus discomfort, you may be suffering from chronic sinusitis. Dr. Andrew Diamond walks through a possible solution to your ongoing sinus problem that is completely noninvasive and, in most cases, permanent: Balloon Sinuplasty.
What is Balloon Sinuplasty?
This completely noninvasive procedure involves threading a very thin wire into the infected sinus cavity. Once the wire is in place, a balloon slides over the wire and is inflated, which opens the sinus and allows it to begin draining the trapped mucus within. Because there are no significant pain receptors located in the sinus area of your head, this procedure can be done in-office with only local anesthetic. You may still feel unpleasant sensations as part of the procedure, though, so most patients require local and mild sedation such as a narcotic taken prior to the procedure. Patients with heavy necks or sleep apnea will need to have the procedure done at a hospital or in an office with an anesthesiologist, so that proper vital monitoring can be done during the procedure.
Who is Balloon Sinuplasty for?
Those suffering from chronic sinusitis (lasting longer than 12 weeks) will benefit from this procedure, as it effectively unblocks the major sinuses inside the head (maxillary, frontal, and sphenoid). Since this procedure actually alters the bone structure in the sinus, you often a quick and permanent relief of your symptoms. (Balloon Sinuplasty does not correct a deviated septum, though.)
What If Balloon Sinuplasty Doesn’t Work for Me?
Most patients who receive this procedure report relief within 2-3 days. However, there may be some patients whose sinus blockage is so severe that they require a more invasive endoscopic procedure done under general anesthesia in the hospital. Patients who have a deviated septum or large polyps in the sinuses will likely not be candidates for Balloon Sinuplasty, given the architecture of their sinuses.
If you’ve been suffering with acute or chronic sinusitis and would like more information about the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure to learn if it’s right for you, please contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable ENT doctors. We look forward to helping you find relief from your ongoing symptoms.